Mali trip part 2: New Year's and Mopti

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January 18th 2008
Published: February 5th 2008
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Hotel room BandiagaraHotel room BandiagaraHotel room Bandiagara

Nice little place..
So… here it goes and continues… about a month later! Sorry.. I’m trying to catch up on the lack of communication here!

So.. after the whole Dogon Country thing.. we decided to take a relaxing day off in Bandiagara at a hotel a bit out of town. We had the biggest pile of laundry ever to wash! Good thing for us.. we met a Ghanian Burkinabe woman.. who was all excited to meet us and did it for us! Hurray!
The room was nice.. and the meals were good. That night.. we had African tea with the manager of the hotel and a guy Courtney met while reading in the hammock. The next day, on December 31st.. we were on our way to Sevare, a town right before Mopti. We were recommended to go there by Jerome who said there was more clubs and interesting places to go to in order to celebrate hardcore! We waiting for a ride on the side of the road right in front of the hotel.. 3 minutes later… We get a pick-up truck! Soooo nice. We went on the back of the pick up.. balancing from one side to the other.. Courtney was about
Gettin' dirtyGettin' dirtyGettin' dirty

That was our huge laundry pile!!! Totally needed though..
to cry.. as the chicken next to us were getting squeezed by our luggages! Nevertheless.. I LOVED IT!

Once we got in Sevare.. finding a hotel was a bitch.. there was many of them.. but pretty expensive.. or way to far from the club we wanted to go to. The driver of the pick-up and his friends took us everywhere around town, until we finally decided to come back to the first hotel we visited, which was 3 doors down from the club! Good choice!

That night.. we were pretty tired and decided to take a nap… surprisingly.. the alarm never rang.. and one of us woke up at 11:30! We had 30 minutes to midnight! The girls were passed out.. in no way in the mood to go.. But hey! I’m in Africa.. far far away from any Quebec New Year’s parties.. I am not gonna ruin my African New Year’s like that. I got up right away got dressed, kicked the girls in the but to wake up and we finally went. We arrived in the bar at 11:45, just enough time to get a feel, hop on the dance floor and there it was: Bonne
Hitch Hicking!Hitch Hicking!Hitch Hicking!

I was not afraid at all.. it was just for the picture.. We got a truck on the side of the road that would bring us to Sevare!
We had beers coming to us from left and right.. we had our own rhum and coke bottles.. We were grinding with way to many people.. Renee was doing shots with guys in the corner.. well! You get it.. a really really fun night.. Renee got the drunkest first.. thus, we had to take her home. So we went.. and then Courtney and I came back to the club.. until Courtney wanted to go home.. I brought her back and went back to the club.. until.. to my biggest regrets.. they closed down. It was 5 in the morning! That’s what I call partying!

The next day was Mopti, we took a bush taxi until there, and found a hotel thanks to a freaky guide who kept harassing us until the next day.. The hotel was expensive and looked like a factory of some sort.. Mopti is great in a sense and bad too. It’s a very different ciy compared to others. It is really the Venice of Africa. The river right there.. really really tiny streets.. the pirogues on the Niger.. It was a really different surrounding. But! Mopti is so touristic.. that really, harassment is a
Courtney is freaking out!Courtney is freaking out!Courtney is freaking out!

She might not look like she is.. but under those glasses are eyes of...... The truck was going sooo fast.. she was so scared! We had to hold her so she feels like she's actually not going to die.. We ended up knocking on the back window and tell them to go slower.
bitch. People were not that nice compared to the Dogon Country, we had a bit of a shock. The second day we were there.. We went on a pirogue tour around the Niger, visiting little villages on the way. It was cool. Really, we didn’t care much about the villages.. we just liked the ride, drinking tea and enjoying the wind.

Then, we were on our way to Djenne, a little town down south, we were on the worse bush taxi ever (see the pic). We were almost wondering if it would not break on the way. The ride was a couple hours, until we got to this boat passage thingy to cross a river. We got to Djenne and went to a nice hotel, where again, we slept on the roof. But this time, it was the best.We had the whole roof for ourselves, maguivering the best camp side ever! But damn was it cold though! We ate street food on the corner of the street, the best of all I have to admit. The next day, we took a guide to tour us around town for 2 hours, visiting the UNESCO protected Mosque, different kind of architecture,
Dancing for New Years!Dancing for New Years!Dancing for New Years!

We got there at 11:45.. just some time to put us and the moon and the count-down was on!! Bonne Annee!!!
a women’s coop making bogolan, where interestingly enough, the only person we saw there was the guy painting on the fabric.. So much for a WOMEN’s co-op. Later on around noon, we left town after our brief visit and bush taxied back on the main road where we would make our way back to Burkina, slowly. In that bush taxi, we met 2 german girls working in Ghana who were also going back to Burkina and then to Ghana. We followed each other all the way. When we got to the road, we were lucky to get a big coach bus heading to Bamako, they dropped us off in San, where we found a little bus taxi to bring us as close as we could to the border. It was an intense ride though. We were on a dirt road about the whole time, the driver was driving way to fast, trying to go around all the holes in the road. We were seriously scared we wouldn’t make it to the end. We arrived in that little town of which I don’t remember the name pretty late at night. 2 guys helped us carry our stuff and brought us to
We are drunk...We are drunk...We are drunk...

Mix some cheap rhum with some fake pop... bring the bottles in the bar with you.. and here we are... hammared and drinking more! Cause guys keep buying us drinks!
a hotel. The shittiest! It was basically a restaurant or bar, where there was 3 roomd, filled with bugs and spider webs, the mattresses were the grossest. Really.. we could not make it. We decided to take our mats outside and go sleep under there little rooftop patio, where we put our mosquito net, mat and mattress. It was such a good idea!! We slept soooo good. But it was so freaky though. When we were putting out “tent” up, the owner, the waiters and customers were coming to look at us.. to the point that seriously, we had no privacy at all. I got mad at them, told them to go away. Seriously, if we would have taken that room, they wouldn’t be at the door looking at us. I told them we are paying them the price room to use nothing else than their mattress, so really, they can leave us alone! They did.. but it was still freaky to be surrounded by all those guys.

The next day, we were told that the bus to the border was leaving at 6 and that they would come pick us up in the morning at the hotel.. which
Mopti: African VeniceMopti: African VeniceMopti: African Venice

Beautiful Niger river...
never happened, we left on our way back to the station. On our way there, we found the bus fully packed bypassing us..leaving us there. We were pissed. We had to wait for another occasion to take us there.. Which really was not easy, until a bush taxi van arrived around 11 AM and would head to Bobo. It was however, the funniest ride. There was about 7 people on the roof, 2 goats or sheeps under our seats, kicking us all the way and a nice open bag of bloody meat hanging on the side of the bus, which would accumulate the pollution and dust all the way to Bobo, a 4 hour ride! I would not even try that meat!

We got to Bobo and left the german girls there, where they would try to find a ride back to the western side of Ghana. Me and the girls, we headed towards Hounde, to see our friend Sara, the third IDSer.

We welcomed her with a big: “we need a shower!!!” We were soooo dirty, didn’t wash ourselves for 2 to 3 days.. Our nails were gross. It was good to back there all together and also for me to finally visit Sara’s place! I never had the courage to go cause I was too afraid of her hole toilet.. But after the Mali trip.. I rocked the hole toilet.. so Sara’s place is no longer scary! But actually pretty enjoyable!

We went out to L’Auberge, one of the nicest spot in her village, danced the night away, got a bit tipsy.. and went to bed. The next day was a bitch though.. What we thought would have been the easiest ride to take back to Ouaga, actually ended up being the worse. Since it was the Sunday before the “going back to work Monday after the Holidays”, everyone was heading back to Ouaga. All the buses coming from Bobo were full. The girls wanted to get to Ouaga and hopefully leave right away to cross the Ghanian border that day. But it was not possible. We had to call a bobo company and reserve our tickets starting from Bobo, which is 3 bucks more each.. just so that once they would get to Hounde, we would have 3 spots available. It worked. The bus got there and of all the people wanting to get in. We were the only one who went.. But gosh were we scared our luggages would not make it in.. The bus kept going forward, while the guys were packing our stuff in the stairs.. But whatever, we made it back home. We had time to wash, repack and unpack, go eat some nice food at the Egyptian restaurant, upload the pictures, burn CDs and watch the slideshow of our 2 weeks-adventure. I think it couldn’t have ended better than that.

The next morning, the girls were gone.. leaving me to my daily routiny life in Ouaga.. making it their way to Bolgatenga and Accra.

But it was not too bad. I had 2 weeks of work to do and then, my Dee-Dee would be coming, which left me with another break for 2 weeks.

Really the whole Mali thing was good! I would seriously consider going back to Mali one day, as people are really friendly and the country so vast and beautiful. I’m pretty sad I didn’t get to go to Tombouctou though! I really wanted to see the real desert. I don’t know why I like desert sooo much. I really like Peru when we went there. The dunes where nice and man did we had fun! I think I might be looking for the same experience.

I promise one day I’ll make it back though. I wish I had more time off, cause really, I still got my Malian visa for another 5 months..

But anyway.. Sorry for the late blog entry. I know I said I would put it in soon, but I got distracted and then Dee came.
I will also put a blog entry of my trip with Dee. Mom, I hope it gives you an idea of your coming trip! 

See you all soon everyone!

Additional photos below
Photos: 28, Displayed: 28


On our way to Djenne!On our way to Djenne!
On our way to Djenne!

Smiling.. although it's not that confortable.
The Bache we were in..The Bache we were in..
The Bache we were in..

Yup.. totally falling apart.. but cheap! 3$ for a 2-3 hour ride...
The Djenne boatThe Djenne boat
The Djenne boat

Once you get there.. gotta cross the river to continue
Our campsite, Rooftop again!Our campsite, Rooftop again!
Our campsite, Rooftop again!

We had a nice view of the Djenne's mosque from the roof too! Third floor too! It was so damn cold
Our little terasse!Our little terasse!
Our little terasse!

We had the roof for ourselves

9th February 2008

HI Nath! I love your blogs-- especially on the mali trek. Made me sooooo nostalgic.... keep up your spirits and enjoy your last few really will go by fast. love zuzana
11th February 2008

Ahh.. nice to hear from you lady!! How come ur nostalgic? Did you go to Mali too when you were in Ghana?? If so.. I guess we're following your steps big sistar! Thanks for reading my blog.. It makes me really happy!! :P

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